Megacities are characterised by their large and diverse populations, their cross-border trade connections (Hutton, 2008, p. 2) and the challenges they face, e.g., limited housing facilities, material resources, energy (Winkless, 2016) . They also constitute highly dynamic spaces where sociocultural transformations occur on the fast-track. The interaction between sub-communities in the centre and periphery influences the residents’ stance towards living in the city. These intra-urban dynamics can be expected to become visible in language use, thus inviting both sociolinguistic studies and discourse analyses.
So far, linguistic research on urban spaces has been largely limited to language variation and change within individual sub-communities without considering more complex interrelationships of language, space and identity. In addition, the focus has been on a restricted number of cities located in what is often referred to as ‘Western nations’, neglecting the fact that most megacities are located and emerging in Asia, Africa and South America and show great linguistic diversity. The aim of this project is to bring together researchers from different fields and establish theories and methodologies that lend themselves to comparative analyses of language and space in megacities to capture the multiple facets of urban language and life style.
Prof. Dr. Carolin Biewer
Dr. Ninja Schulz
Language and space in megacities: Developing an agenda for comparative research. Workshop at 8th Biennial International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (BICLCE), of Bamberg (Germany). 26-28 September 2019. www.uni-bamberg.de/en/anglistik/chair-of-english-linguistics/biclce-2019/workshops/workshop-1-language-and-space-in-megacities/